This story is about a woman, Deepika Mhatre who struggles like any other person in the city of Mumbai. Just some months ago, Deepika’s day would start at the crack of dawn. As early as 4 am, she would begin selling jewelry in the local trains. At 7 am, she would head from Churchgate to Malad to start the second half of her day- working as a cook in the households of the ‘Madams.’ In the evening, she would come back home and tend to her own domestic chores. This included giving personal attention to her asthmatic husband and three children. This strong woman has been a dedicated bread winner for her family. Maybe she forgot to live for herself amongst all the hard work and chaos. Maybe, she needed to live her own catharsis. And, life did give her a chance and now this woman is living her dream.
Meet Deepika Mhatre- A maid by day and a stand-up comedian by night!
It all started when one of Deepika’s employers Sangeeta Vyas decided to organize a talent show for all the ‘bais’ of the community. Sangeeta strongly felt that “whenever there is an event, everybody enjoys but the domestic help is always stuck working.” Hence, she decided to dedicate a day to the maids where they could just be themselves and showcase their talent. This was the day when Deepika emerged as a star with her contagious sense of humour.
A reporter from the audience introduced Deepika to the renowned comedian Aditi Mittal. Aditi totally smitten by Deepika’s talent urged her to get on the professional stage of comedy. Deepika performed professionally with Aditi for the first time on the episode of ‘Bad Girls’.
Deepika’s derives material for her standup shows from her real life experiences. Experiences of having faced discrimination and disrespect at the hands of the people she works for. With a pinch of sarcasm and heap loads of comic abilities, she is able to turn her real life episodes into a performing act.
“I talk about my employers. Not all of them treated me with equal respect. Some of them would only expect me to work but not offer basic courtesy – water, or food. Or would expect me to eat from a different plate. Those experiences have now become material for my act. And when you’re on stage, making jokes, no one feels bad about what you’re saying.”
Deepika Mhatre has worked as a maid for seven years now. After the Bad Girls episode, she did her first stage performance that was received well by her audience.
“Many people came up and congratulated me. There were others who even apologized for the discrimination I have faced.”
This strong headed woman isn’t afraid of raising her voice and let’s say she is doing a wonderful job. Comedy still remains a space dominated by men. It is truly inspiring that Deepika Mhatre has managed to establish a place for herself and is representing women from a different strata of society. Earlier, Deepika’s children were apprehensive about their mother performing but now are proud and supportive of their mother.
“garv hota hai mere bachon ko mujh pe. Acha lagta hai.”
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